Had WLE and lymph nodes removed last week

Hi Not too good today my left breast is so swollen its about 3 cup sizes bigger than my right, under my arm is a little swollen too, they keep clashing with each other, its not just the scar that’s sore its the whole breast, from reading other letters its normal but how I wish it would just go away.Sorry to complain I know we are all going through the same thing, I think the family are getting fed up with me moaning,but I needed to vent my feelings somewhere.xx

Hi C me

Sorry you are feeling so down. Are you taking painkillers regularly? I know what you mean about the clashing. My breast is still slightly painful after 6 weeks since WLE and my axillary clearance was 3 weeks ago and is still swollen and painful so I have been on painkillers since 6 August. Ring your breast care nurse on Monday and ask her advice about the swelling. Is it red or hot? My breast was very hard too - still a little bit, but the swelling under the arm does get me down too.

Will you be seeing your consultant this week?
Hope you have a better day tomorrow - hugs Lyn xxx

Hi Lyn, thank you for replying, will phone BCN today the trouble is I don’t want to feel a fool when she says that’s normal, its not hot or red so I know there isn’t an infection, its just driving me potty, yes my appointment with the consultant is this friday,for my results,he’s already told me after the op, that it has spread to my lymph nodes, so I will definitely be having chemo not looking forward to that,losing my hair and feeling rotten etc. I am taking painkillers but find its only just taking the edge off, what about you how are you coping with it all? seems like your on a merry go round and can’t get off doesn’t it. Hugs to you too Carole xx


So sorry you are suffering. I am sure absolutely no-one would think you a fool. I am due to have a WLE and SNB this Wednesday, so am interested in your experience. Are you taking paracetamol, or did they give you something stronger? How long were you in hospital? I am hoping to come out the same day, all being well. Hope things improve soon.

Love Ann x

Hi cme

I also had a WLE, that was done about am onth ago, and then when I went back to see the consultant was told that the cancer was in one lymph node and I needed to have axillary node clearance. I had that done on 11th Sept. I cant beleive the difference in the pain post operatively, the WLE hurt a little but within a week I was virtually back to normal. The would is swollen and I have a hard lump under my arm and to the side of my breast, its quite painful and the skin around the area and down my arm feels like Ive been badly sunburned. I saw a breast care nurse on friday and she drained some of the fluid out for me, it helped a little bit, she also gave me antibiotics as my skin feels hot. Now today, its still swollen and hard and uncomfortable, Its worth going to see the breast care nurses whenever you need to, or at least phone them.They are really helpful and reassuring, at least she told me that everything I was experiencing was normal after ANC.I hope you ( WE) start to feel better soon. Its good to have people to share and talk to.

Love Deb x

Hi Ann

Just read your message. I had WLE and then due to finding lymph node involvement had ANC two weeks later. On both occasions I was discharged the same day with paracetamol and antiinflammatory tablets. They have been adequate pain relief for me, as its not so much a pain, more of a discomfort and uncomfortable feeling that I dont think any painkillers could take away.
The surgery itself was organised, quick and by the next morning I had no after affects from the anaesthetic. THe breast care nurse phoned me at home to make sure I was ok. They really are very good!
Good luck with your surger on Wednesday and please let us know how you get on. I have only joined this site today, its great to read other people comments and to realise that you’re not the only one going through things.
Love and hugs
Deb x

Hi Ann,
I was lucky to come out the next day, as you have a drain put in to get rid of excess fluid and it has to drop below a certain amount before they let you go, they gave me paracetamol and dihydrocodeine, which makes you feel a bit light headed when taken together, so I keep that for the night times, you can take either of them separately as well, will be happy to share any thing you would like to know,and good luck for Wednesday,if your anything like me I was looking forward to the op couldn’t wait to get the lump out of my body.
Hi Deb
sorry to hear your in the same boat as me, I just find that my boob is so heavy have to walk around holding it to stop it from wobbling lol.
I also hope you will start to feel better soon.
Love Carole xx
P.S. Yes it is good to have people to share and talk to who understand what your going through.x

Hi all

Have just joined this site. Was good to read some of these comments. I had WLE and lymph node removal about 3 weeks ago.
Ann - I was in hospital for day before op and then out the day after operation. Felt better than thought I would but very tired for first 5 days. Since then not too bad but stiffness under arm and some tenderness on breast. Not needed a lot of painkillers.

My breast seemed fine at first but a week after the op started to become swollen. This confused me as I thought it would have been more likely to be swollen straight away. It does feel heavy and sometimes very sensitive to touch. I have been wondering how long it should be swollen for but by reading some of these posts, looks like it is quite normal and may be like that for a while. I am currently waiting to start radiotherapy - has anyone been through this?

Hi Annie welcome to the site…

I had WLE and Sentinel Node Biopsy 4 weeks ago, so at pretty much the same stage as you. I am also waiting to start radiotherapy and have started Tamoxifen. Have you been told you don’t need chemo ? Do you know if you’ll be having Tamoxifen ?

My boob feels ok although still a bit lumpy with scar tissue. It doesn’t hurt though. Under my arm is stiff and I have “cording”, which I am trying to stretch with the exercises etc.

There are lots of threads on here about radiotherapy. Have a browse around. Do you have a date for your planning meeting yet ? Mine is next mon (28th).

Wishing you all the best ( feel free to PM me if you want to compare notes!)

Anna x

Hi Annie and Annalou

Nice to hear of others who are at similar stages with treatment. I get the results of my axiliary node clearance next tuesday 29th, fingers crossed that there will be no further node affected, one node showed cancer cells on sentinel node biopsey. I have to have Tamoxifen, but they dont want to start it until after Ive seen oncologists as I know that I need radiotherapy but dont yet know if I will need chemotherapy. I suppose different health authorities and consultants have different approaches and times at which to start treatment??
Is there a chat line with this site where we can talk to each other?
Love Deb x

Hi Ladies,
Sorry to hear so many of you are experiencing problems. I was diagnosed August 2008 and ended up having 3 WLE ops and some node removal. I have a six inch scar which I must say is still sore, particularly when the cat stands on it! I am back at work now but find some things difficult. The Arimidex has made me feel ancient, (I’m 48)getting out of bed is painful first thing as it feels like someone has smashed my feet with a hammer in the night. It does wear off. It isn’t easy this business and I often wonder if it was the right decision not to have a masectomy. I suppose we are ill prepared for the consequences of the conservative surgery. I had no idea it would look so hacked. I was told I’d have a scar the size of my little finger nail to start with! It is early days for most of you. Rest a lot and pamper yourselves. You so deserve it.
Goldwing Girl

Hi Deb,
Nice to hear from you…

Did you have WLE ( lumpectomy) and when did you have it ? Mine was Aug 21st ( I’ve probably said that on this thread already…sorry!!)

You’re right it does seem to differ quite a bit as to whether you are offered chemo and the order in which treatments are given. I was surprised not to be offered chemo, but apparently it makes very little significant difference to my overall prognosis.

I think there is a “live chat” ( like msn) on this site but it is only on once a week ??? I have not tried it to be honest.

Goldwing girl
I can’t believe how “early days” it still is with me …feel like I’ve been doing this forever!! Thanks for the encouragement to rest and pamper…sounds good to me!

Take care guys

Anna x


Hi, just wondering from your name if you’re being treated in Gloucester. I get my results in Gloucester in the 29th too, had lumpectomy and sentinal lymph node biopsy on Fri 11th Sept. Still sore and stuff but getting there.
Fairyem x

Deb, there is a live chat for those with primary dx on a Thursday night from 9 til 10,if you follow the links on the front page on here.
Just to let those of you know that have had similar dx as me,you will get there ! I was diagnosed in January this year had WLE and SNB in Feb,started tamoxifen in April,finished rads in May and here I am out the other end… . It does all take time tho and you have got to get your heads around a lot of things both physically and mentally.
This has been a great place for info and support as the people here have all been there done that etc etc. Any worries or questions you have will always be answered and it is just good to know that you are not alone and there are people who do really understand.
Take it easy and be good to yourselves,good luck with all your treatments.

Sandra x

Hi fairyem, annalou,

I had my WLE and sentinel node biopsey done on 20th August in Gloucester, great consultant. I told that node biopsey would probably be clear and that Id just go on to have radiotherapy and possibly Tamoxifen.
When I returned for results on 8th September was told that there was tiny amounts of cancer cells in one of the nodes that they had taken, the other node was clear.
I then went in on 11th September to Day surgery and have axillary node clearance. I found the initial surgery a bit uncomfortable but nothing too bad. This axillary node clearance is a real pain though! But from reading bits on here ive realised that im not experiencing anything any different to anybody else!!
Fairyem, the breast care team at Gloucester seem to be so lovely, if you were in day surgery on 11th you were probably in the same ’ little row’ of patients as me.
Good luck with your results on 29th! I’ll be somewhere in the waiting room too. My appointment is at 2pm( i think).

Sandra, thanks for the info about the chat evening, I wonder why its only once a week? Us ’ new girls ’ need to talk. Really glad to hear your treatment went well.
Deb x


Hi, yes I expect we were there together, I was in bed 5 (the middle one of those rather small close together beds). I went down second for my op and was the last one to leave the ward as I kept fainting. Did you have Mrs Fowler? I’m in at 2:30 on the 29th so we’ll prob be waiting together.


Hi Fairyem

Yes I do remember you, i was next to you by the window! I think I was first to leave, although I felt awful( and probably looked it too)! Mrs Fowler is my consultant too, she seems very knowledgeable and has an excellent reputation. Im desperate to get next Tuesday over with and im already feeling quite anxious about it, normal I suppose.
Mrs Fowlers clinics always seem to run a bit late, which is good because it means either she or the breast care nurses are taking time to explain things to you properly.

Anyway, hope you have a good week and probably see you next Tuesday.

Deb x


I am getting confused. Seems to take a while to go through treatment. You say had WLE and SNB in February and not finished rads till May. I got impression from breast care nurse that 2-3 weeks after op would have radiotherapy for 3 weeks and then treatment finished, back to work. Is this not the case?

I had WLE and SNB 3 weeks ago. Back to hospital tomorrow for second half of results, first half last week were clear. Was expecting radiotherapy to start say next week or so and be back in work by end of October. Am I being optimistic? I am feeling OK apart from some stiffness underarm and slight swelling and tenderness on breast.

Thanks to all for posting on forum though. Isn’t a great place to get info. Official information is great but is good to have real experiences too.



I thought it might have been you. They were going to keep me in because my blood pressure was so low hence the fainting but I just wanted to get home to my bed so they let me out in a wheelchair. Yes Mrs Fowler is good, apparently when I was still quite drowsy after the op, my husband says I told her she was pretty but I don’t remember this!! Have you got quite long blonde hair? I’m having my hair cut tomorrow so it’ll be shortish I think but I’ll prob have a pink hoody, with a fluffy lining in it with me.

Really looking forwards to getting the results, just so I can know the next phase of my treatment, want it all to hurry up. Obviously anxious too but just keen to get on with things. They’re pretty certain it’ll be chemo because of my age (29) but find out of tuesday for sure.

Take care, prob see you tuesday.
Em x

Hi Em,

Yes, my hair is blonde and longish…im leaving it that way until I find out if I need chemo, im 45, they wont know until they have the axilliary node clearance results back. Im presuming if any other nodes are affected then I will need to have chemo, and then I’ll get my hair cut I suppose. I think im going to wait until I after Ive seen Dr Benstead at Cheltenham, Im sure its her who makes the final decision what treatment is best. Apparently they put all of your details, age, biopsy results etc into the computer and the computer programme says if its a good idea to have it? Will wait and see.

I think you maybe rushing it a bit, it seems to depend alot on different consultants and health authorities on the speed in which things are done. I was diagnosed in July, and still havent even seen the oncologist yet. I think they like to give the wound time to heal, also there is alot psychologically to deal with. I am a single parent and desperate to get back to work too…I do actually miss it. I am a staff nurse, although I knew very little about breast cancer( until now). I hope things go as you are planning, but take time to get well too.

Deb x